Zinedine Zidane believes Cristiano Ronaldo will leave a lasting legacy at Real Madrid like Alfredo Di Stefano has.
Ronaldo’s brace in a 3-0 win against Juventus last week – which included an incredible overhead kick from the club’s all-time leading scorer – has put Real firmly in charge of their Champions League quarter-final tie ahead of the return leg in Madrid on Wednesday.
Ronaldo’s spectacular second goal was so impressive that even Juventus fans applauded it and Real president Florentino Perez has called the 33-year-old the “great heir” to Di Stefano, who won five European Cups and scored 308 goals in 396 games between 1953 and 1964.
“I am not thinking about being without Cristiano Ronaldo, this is what we have and we are happy,” Zidane told a press conference in quotes that were published on Real’s official website.
“There are many people who still remember Di Stefano and rightly so. I am one of those people.
“They will also remember Cristiano Ronaldo at this club. We must enjoy this player.”
Juventus were beaten in last year’s final by Zidane’s side and are on the verge of being eliminated by the Spanish giants once again.
The Bianconeri are closing in on their seventh domestic title, while Real are only fourth in the table in Spain.
Asked if Serie A was weaker than LaLiga, Zidane replied: “I don’t think it is weak.
“I think LaLiga is the best league to be in because every game is difficult – things can go awry right up to the final game.”
Zidane, who will be without the banned Sergio Ramos, has also warned his players not to start contemplating who they could potentially meet in the last four or in the final.
“The 3-0 result will not change things for us,” he stressed.
“It’s another game and what happened, happened. It was a good game, but there is still 50 per cent of the tie to be played.
“We will have to put in another great game to pass through. I’m only interested in tomorrow’s match and I only think of my team and how we need to play another great game to qualify.
“We have one final and it is tomorrow. Then we will see if we get through, and then who we have to face, but we must not think beyond tomorrow’s game.”
Juve’s task is all the more difficult because Paulo Dybala is suspended having been dismissed in the first leg.
Defender Giorgio Chiellini believes that, at the very least, a strong performance at the home of the reigning champions would be beneficial for Juventus’ next European campaign.
“For long stretches of the first leg we would have deserved much more than a draw but instead we found ourselves two goals down and a man less,” he said on Juventus’ official website.
“We’re not crying about what happened, and we go to Madrid with the desire to play a good game.
“In football and in life you never know what can happen, and to go there and put on a good display, even in view of next year, would be important.”
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